MAAC Volleyball Rivalry is Renewed as Saints Look For Ninth MAAC Crown
Saints Lose MAAC Championship Final For the First Time in History
Saints' Quest for Their Ninth MAAC Championship Starts Today
Saints Now 4-2 in MAAC
Siena Knocks Off UAlbany for First Time in 12 Years
Garvey Pierre is in his 10th season as the head volleyball coach at Siena after becoming the program's initial full-time coach in April of 2003. He has reenergized the Saints' program with stellar recruiting and bold vision. In just his third year, he guided the upstart Saints to the MAAC Championship in 2005 and the second NCAA appearance in program history, a feat the team repeated each of the next three seasons.
Pierre has Siena gunning for a fifth MAAC title under his direction after resurrecting a program that tied for last in the league in 2004. His recruiting classes have been among the most decorated in program history.
Middle blocker Burgandy McCurty '10 graduated as the greatest volleyball player ever at Siena, finishing her career with a MAAC record 1,945 kills. She was the 2006 MAAC Rookie of the Year and the 2007, 2008 and 2009 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year. She finished the 2010 season ranked second nationally with a school record 5.37 kills/set.
Recent graduates set the stage for the program's current success. April London' 09 was a CoSIDA District 1 First Team Academic All-America selection, the 2005 MAAC Rookie of the Year, the 2008 MAAC Setter of the Year and graduated as the school's all-time assist leader (5,356). London and classmate Kathi Kobayashi - the program's all-time leader in digs - won MAAC Championships in all four of their years with the program. Nadiege Honore '08 was the first major recruit to commit to Pierre. She finished her career second on the school's all-time kills charts with 1,461 career kills.
The future looks bright too, consider: junior Taylor Akana enjoyed one of the top rookie seasons ever posting 4.48 kills per set to lead the MAAC, and was the conference's Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2011. Senior libero Lesli Akeo was the 2011 MAAC co-Defensive Player of the Year. Thanks to national, and in some cases international recruiting, the Saints have posted four 20-win seasons and made four NCAA appearances under Pierre's direction.
In 2005, Siena captured its fourth MAAC title, and first since 1996, despite being picked ninth in the Preseason Coaches' Poll and last by every coach except Pierre (who picked the Saints first). Pierre's Saints reeled off seven straight wins to end the regular-season and earn a spot in the MAAC Championships. The squad carried the momentum into the conference Tournament, where they knocked off Iona in the semifinals and upset top-seed Fairfield in the Championship Match. The win assured the Saints their second NCAA berth in program history where they lost to eventual National Champion Washington in the First Round in Fort Collins, Colo.
Siena repeated its magical ride to the NCAA's in 2006, capturing the league championship at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. After entering the Tournament as the #2 seed, Siena knocked off Saint Peter's and Canisius in its first two matches, setting up a Championship rematch with Fairfield. Pierre again guided Siena to the upset, and with it the program's sixth MAAC Championship and third NCAA berth. Siena advanced to play Minnesota in the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Albany.
In 2007, Siena once more ousted rival Fairfield in a classic MAAC Championship match televised on ESPNU that went the distance. The Saints tied with the Stags during the regular-season, posting a 17-1 league record. After capturing their third straight MAAC title, Siena advanced to play eventual National Champion Penn State in the NCAA First Round.
In 2008, the Saints' seniors completed their perfect careers with a championship on their home court. Once more, Siena topped Fairfield on national television in the final, this time doing so in straight sets. It was the 100th career victory for Pierre at Siena. The Saints went on to play California in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Berkeley.
Siena won nine of its last 10 league games in 2011 to make a bold run at the MAAC title, earning the No. 3 seed in the conference championships where they fell to Fairfield in five epic sets.
This type of success is nothing new for Pierre.
Prior to being named Siena's head coach, Pierre led the volleyball program at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. While at Mercy, Pierre compiled a winning percentage in excess of 75%, which placed him seventh among active Division II coaches with at least five years of experience upon his resignation. Pierre's teams gained three conference championships, and a number one ranking in the Northeast Region in 2000 (33-2 record) and 2001 (34-2 record). He was named conference Coach of the Year four times and Northeast Region Coach of the Year twice.
In 2001 Pierre led Mercy to the final eight in the NCAA Tournament. In addition, his teams held the best grade point average among all teams in the Mercy athletic department for seven straight years.
Pierre is a graduate of Quebec University (BA) and Mercy (BS). He was a technical adviser for his native Haiti's men's national team in 1994 and was an assistant coach for Haiti's women's national team in 1996 for the Norceca Games (pre-Olympics). Pierre was also a participant in the 1992 Norceca Games.
Pierre resides in the Capital Region.